Hi, you’re listening to the Sales Journey Podcast, episode #222. Your Team’s Culture is Growing With or Without You. Let’s talk today about how to get super intentional about what’s growing within our teams. This is Missy Eck, and I am one of the sales and leadership coaches with Emerge Sales Training. For those of you new to the podcast, this is the podcast for network marketers who want to up-level their sales and leadership skills while being a good human. Right now our coaching team releases new episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, but this will be moving to twice a week in April to give you more time to implement the great things you’re learning and we know that you’re going to want to have access to our amazing coaching team throughout the week so we have free training available on closing and selling. How to make that a more enjoyable process for you and your customers or on recruiting and how to make that a seamless process for you and your potential builder. You can sign at emergesalestraining.com/freetraining.
So team culture at Emerge. We recently added a whole module into our leadership foundation course devoted to the concept of creating an awesome team culture and I personally have been the creator of both not so great team cultures and pretty darn good team cultures. It’s something I’m extremely passionate about when I work with our students. By the most basic definition, a team culture is made up of the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors shared by a team. It’s how people work together towards a common goal and how they actually just treat each other. These attributes could be positive or they can be negative and regardless of whether we as leaders are intentionally building our team culture, a culture is indeed developing within our team. So I would like to talk today about a few key things to consider if you are a leader who is seeking to create something really amazing within their team.
So guys, when I ask my students what makes a team great? Like what? When I say team culture, what do you think about? And they typically give me answers. “Like I feel supported and encouraged”. “It feels safe”. “Feels like a family”. “We kind of are all working towards the same vision and goals”. “I have a really strong leader”. “I feel successful”. We are working together, just all those great things and we all want our team to feel right. So the question is how do we actually create this on our team? So I’m going to share some ideas and I decided to make things easy by having them all start with the letter C as in culture. OK, so here we go.
The first C to consider is Community. So the community can be that you actually physically live close to a group of other people, but it’s also defined as a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of caring, of sharing common attributes and attitudes and interests and goals. As a business team, you typically are sharing the love of your product and probably have some goals that are either personal goals that are the same, or team achievement and sales goals. But how do you build the feeling of community? That feeling inside. My students say they love their team because it feels like family. So how do we take this group of people from simply being on the same team because they happened to be in your organization selling the same product to actually building that feeling that they are part of something bigger? I’m going to ask some questions here. And guys, this isn’t a podcast where I’m going to be giving you a lot of answers. This is where I’m going to be challenging you. So write some of these questions down.
So do you know what you’re building with your team?Does your team know what they are part of? How do you help your team connect? How is a team member introduced into this community? How are they integrated within? Do the people on your team actually know each other? Not just name and rank and maybe where they live, but do they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and just things about each other like we do our family. Do you have team meetings or a social media group where a place that they can gather and you can communicate together? And how do you personally foster the feeling that member’s needs will be met through their commitment to work together within this community? It’s a big one. And so what I would say is your job here is to think these things through and let the answers guide you.
So the second C is Collaboration. And so a team that knows and plays upon the strengths of its members without ego is the team that wins. A great example of this is outlined in the book The Culture Code. In that, they ask the question, “why do certain groups add up to be greater than the sum of their parts while others add up to be less?” So this is to simplify, why do you know, can there be two people that can get the work done by 10 or you can have a group that gets nothing done. And so what they did is, they did a contest. And it’s funny, I actually went through this in my corporate life for a team-building exercise, but they did a contest and they took groups of four and they challenged them to build the highest possible structure, which is 20 pieces of uncooked spaghetti, a yard of transparent tape, a yard of string, and a standard size marshmallow. And so the only role was that the marshmallow had to end up on the top of the structure. And so what they did in this kind of controlled study was that they compared a group of business students with a group of kindergartners and the business students, as you can imagine, got right to work. They began talking and thinking strategically. They examined the materials thoroughly. They tossed ideas back and forth and ask thoughtful savvy questions. It was professional and rational and intelligent, and they ended up kind of fine-tuning one particular strategy. And then they divided up the tasks and started building.
The kindergarteners on the other hand, as you can imagine, took a different approach. They didn’t strategize, they didn’t analyze and they had no experiences to share. They didn’t ask a lot of questions or proposed different options or land on one idea and tackle it. In fact, they really didn’t talk at all hardly. They leaned close to each other. They were kind of shoulder to shoulder, but nothing was smooth or organized about their process. They would abruptly grab materials. They basically would just shout out like, no, not that here, here. Their entire technique would be the opposite of strategic. It’d be more like trying to just try and a bunch of stuff together. OK. So can you guess who built the taller structure?
If it was based on skills, you would likely say that the business students, definitely won, but the individual skills are not what mattered in this exercise. What really mattered was the interaction of the group. So the business students may have seemed to be working effectively, but actually, if you got in there and listened to how they were talking, they actually wasted a lot of time and efficiency by trying to manage their individual status, having the best ideas, and even throughout the process becoming a little bit competitive. On the flip side, your kindergarteners seemed totally chaotic, disorganized, but when you looked at them as a single entity, they were pretty efficient and effective because they didn’t compete for status and they stood shoulder to shoulder, worked together very energetically, they moved quickly, they saw problems, they offered help, they took risks, they noticed outcomes, and really just ended up with the best possible solution. And so my question is, as you consider how you collaborate on your team and how you view your team members and their strengths, how can we as leaders create a culture where this collaboration and leaning into the strengths of all of our team members is seen as the way to get things done and succeed.
The Third C, you guys is Celebration. As leaders, we have the awesome opportunity to be encouragers and cheerleaders for our team. And many of us know how to celebrate and recognize people for the big accomplishments, the rank, advancements, the sales goals, number of enrollments, kinds of things. But how are we doing when it comes to celebrating the baby step milestones that happen along the way? Could we do better at recognizing the things that our team is doing to build their business and gain more competence, like making phone calls, having appointments, having follow-up calls? One of our students actually recently had a “go for no” contest and they actually had the team challenged to make as many phone calls as they could to get as many “No’s” as they possibly could. And it seems funny on the surface, but what happened there? The team took action and even though on the surface the goal was to get “No’s”, guess what else that they also got?They got “Yes'”. So we also talk a lot of at Emerge about the concept of conscious competence to not only saying a good job, way to go, but actually helping our team deconstruct their wins and then share those best practices so the individual can repeat that success and the group can grow as a whole.
The final C you guys is really in my mind the most critical piece, and that is Consistency. So whatever you decide to do as a leader, please try to be consistent and avoid being the flavor of the month leader where you are constantly implementing new things and then pulling them back without notice or discussion. Consistency takes dedication, but the feelings it creates on your team like trust and providing clear expectations are invaluable to our team members. If you are consistent in actions and then activities will get ingrained in the culture.
So one just tiny example of this is that our company at Emerge, we do impact Fridays, so every Friday we jump on and do a Facebook live to share how we’ve impacted somebody that week. In the beginning, our leader, Tasha, would be the first to kick things off for the day, and after several weeks of her doing this and continuing, you’ll now typically find one of us jumping in early in the day to start the ball rolling. All we needed to do was see her repeat the action several times to know that, hey, this was something that was going to stick, we’re going to go ahead and run with it. And this isn’t to say guys, that you don’t have to be consistent to the point that you never pull back any initiatives if you’re getting the sense that an initiative isn’t productive or worthwhile for your team, I would consider it, but I would also point back to that notion of collaboration and suggest that you involve your team. Maybe not the whole team, but your frontline, some key people in any major changes that you want to make.
Get their input. This could be something as simple as, hey, I know even having team meetings weekly and I’d like to do a temperature check to see if we feel that that might be more productive to change how often we’re getting together. Then let them talk and guide you to the decision. So I hope I’ve given you some food for thought as you create your own team culture. Remember, if you aren’t actively building a culture, a culture is still developing. So my challenge to you is getting intentional and take steps to building a place where your team members feel that they are an integral part of the overall success. Of the team and feel that it’s a place where they feel at home. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. To sign up for one of our free trainings on closing or recruiting, go to emergesalestraining.com/freetraining, and if you enjoyed today’s podcast, be sure to leave us a review in iTunes, and share it with your team members so they can take their sales and leadership skills up a notch to thanks so much and have a great day.